Childhood To Adulthood Quotes

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Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.
Dr. Seuss
Don't you find it odd," she continued, "that when you're a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you're older, somehow they act offended if you even try.
Ethan Hawke (The Hottest State)
For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
Be sure to lie to your kids about the benevolent, all-seeing Santa Claus. It will prepare them for an adulthood of believing in God.
Scott Dikkers (You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day)
When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge. You may already be on it. The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross, it burns behind you
Gail Carson Levine (Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly)
Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public.
Bryan White
Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages...the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide... Far too many people misunderstand what *putting away childish things* means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I'm with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don't ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child's awareness and joy, and *be* fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.
Madeleine L'Engle
Childhood is for spoiling adulthood.
Bill Watterson (The Days Are Just Packed)
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
I wondered if that was true: if they were all really children wrapped up in adult bodies, like children's books hidden in the middle of dull, long adult books, the kind with no pictures or conversations.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
That was when it was all made painfully clear to me. When you are a child, there is joy. There is laughter. And most of all, there is trust. Trust in your fellows. When you are an adult...then comes suspicion, hatred, and fear. If children ran the world, it would be a place of eternal bliss and cheer. Adults run the world; and there is war, and enmity, and destruction unending. Adults who take charge of things muck them up, and then produce a new generation of children and say, "The children are the hope of the future." And they are right. Children are the hope of the future. But adults are the damnation of the present, and children become adults as surely as adults become worm food. Adults are the death of hope.
Peter David (Tigerheart)
We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees. Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those who have gone are gone and those who will go, which is to say every one of us, will go. For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create.
Mohsin Hamid (How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia)
The difference between childhood and adulthood, Vic had come to believe, was the difference between imagination and resignation. You traded one for the other and lost your way.
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
When we graduate from childhood into adulthood, we're thrown into this confusing, Cthulhu-like miasma of life, filled with social and career problems, all with branching choices and no correct answers.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
Yet there be certain times in a young man’s life, when, through great sorrow or sin, all the boy in him is burnt and seared away so that he passes at one step to the more sorrowful state of manhood
Rudyard Kipling
All people cross the line from childhood to adulthood with a secondhand opinion of who they are. Without any questioning, we take as truth whatever our parents and other influentials have said about us during our childhood, whether these messages are communicated verbally, physically, or silently.
Heyward Bruce Ewart III (AM I BAD? Recovering From Abuse)
I always looked forward to being an adult, because I thought the adult world was, well—adult. That adults weren’t cliquey or nasty, that the whole notion of being cool, or in, or popular would case to be the arbiter of all things social, but I was beginning to realize that the adult world was as nonsensically brutal and socially perilous as the kingdom of childhood.
Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You)
Already, though, she understood the difference between being a child and being an adult. The difference is when someone says he can keep the bad things away, a child believes him.
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
Childhood and adulthood were not factors of age but states of mind.
Alex Shakar (The Savage Girl)
If from infancy you treat children as gods, they are liable in adulthood to act as devils.
P.D. James
Love neighbors. Love strangers. Love friends. Love enemies. Love all; hate none. Love in your childhood, in your youth, in your adulthood, and in your old age. Love as long as you live.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Dance. Dance for the joy and breath of childhood. Dance for all children, including that child who is still somewhere entombed beneath the responsibility and skepticism of adulthood. Embrace the moment before it escapes from our grasp. For the only promise of childhood, of any childhood, is that it will someday end. And in the end, we must ask ourselves what we have given our children to take its place. And is it enough?
Richard Paul Evans (The Christmas Box Miracle: My Spiritual Journey of Destiny, Healing and Hope)
Would it be possible for me to see something from up there?" asked Milo politely. "You could," said Alec, "but only if you try very hard to look at things as an adult does." Milo tried as hard as he could, and, as he did, his feet floated slowly off the ground until he was standing in the air next to Alex Bings. He looked around very quickly and, an instant later, crashed back down to the earth again. "Interesting, wasn't it?" asked Alex. "Yes, it was," agreed Milo, rubbing his head and dusting himself off, "but I think I'll continue to see things as a child. It's not so far to fall.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
If we had to earn our age by thinking for ourselves at least once a year, only a handful of people would reach adulthood.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Nobody truly becomes an adult. The child we have been is always there, deep inside of us. As time passes, we think we're growing, but maturity is only an illusion; a hindrance to our free child soul.
Jirō Taniguchi
We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory
Louise Glück
A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
Thomas Szasz (The Second Sin)
Soon, he would become an adult. And when he did, there would be not going back because adulthood was akin to what his father had once said about being a war hero: one you became one, you died one.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
I had been riding horses before my memory kicked in, so my life with horses had no beginning. It simply appeared from the fog of infancy. I survived a difficult childhood by traveling on the backs of horses, and in adulthood the pattern didn't change.
Monty Roberts (The Horses in My Life)
Nearly every guy I've dated believed they should already be famous, believed that greatness was their destiny and they were already behind schedule. An early moment of intimacy often involved a confession of this sort: a childhood vision, teacher's prophecy, a genius IQ. At first, with my boyfriend in college, I believed it, too. Later, I thought I was just choosing delusional men. Now I understand it's how boys are raised to think, how they are lured into adulthood. I've met ambitious women, driven women, but no woman has ever told me that greatness was her destiny.
Lily King (Writers & Lovers)
Believing in religion is like believing that adulthood is the solution to childhood.
Adam Phillips (On Balance)
When you're a child you long to be an adult and decide everything for yourself, but when you're an adult you realize that's the worst part of it.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
I regret my childhood was cut so short by my adulthood.
Joseph DiFrancesco
After all, isn’t that what really draws the line between childhood and adulthood, knowing that you are solely responsible for yourself? If so, then my childhood ended at fifteen.
Liz Murray (Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard)
If you stay in therapy,” I say softly, “you might have to let go of the hope for a better childhood—but that’s only so that you can create a better adulthood.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
The childhood sexual abuse taught me that my value came from sex. In adulthood, I was driven to have sex since I always felt worthless. I felt important and desired until it was over and then I felt like garbage—the same way I did after the abuse. I desperately needed to feel valued again, which led to more sex. My sex addiction only stopped when I believed that I’m valuable apart from anything I do.
Christina Enevoldsen
Children wear their natures like brightly-colored clothes; that's why they lie so transparently. Adulthood is the art of deceit.
Robert Charles Wilson (The Chronoliths)
In the same way, teenagers imagine dying young because death is more imaginable than the person that all the decisions and burdens of adulthood may make of you.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Father has a strengthening character like the sun and mother has a soothing temper like the moon.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Once upon a time, all of us, no matter what we've grown up to do or who we've grown up to be, were little boys and girls, happy with nothing more than bouncing a ball against a wall
Robert Dinsdale (The Toymakers)
No matter what has happened to you, take complete responsibility for it—good or bad, victory or defeat. Own it. My mentor Jim Rohn said, “The day you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day you take full responsibility for your life.
Darren Hardy (The Compound Effect)
Being raised in an unstable household makes you understand that the world doesn't exist to accommodate you, which... is something a lot of people struggle to understand well into their adulthood. It makes you realize how quickly a situation can shift, how danger really is everywhere. But crises when the occur, do not catch you off guard; you have never believed you lived under a shelter of some essential benevolence. And an unstable childhood makes you appreciate calmness and not crave excitement.
Curtis Sittenfeld (The Man of My Dreams)
Children have always tumbled down rabbit holes, fallen through mirrors, been swept away by unseasonal floods or carried off by tornadoes. Children have always traveled, and because they are young and bright and full of contradictions, they haven’t always restricted their travel to the possible. Adulthood brings limitations like gravity and linear space and the idea that bedtime is a real thing, and not an artificially imposed curfew. Adults can still tumble down rabbit holes and into enchanted wardrobes, but it happens less and less with every year they live. Maybe this is a natural consequence of living in a world where being careful is a necessary survival trait, where logic wears away the potential for something bigger and better than the obvious. Childhood melts, and flights of fancy are replaced by rules. Tornados kill people: they don’t carry them off to magical worlds. Talking foxes are a sign of fever, not guides sent to start some grand adventure. But children, ah, children. Children follow the foxes, and open the wardrobes, and peek beneath the bridge. Children climb the walls and fall down the wells and run the razor’s edge of possibility until sometimes, just sometimes, the possible surrenders and shows them the way to go home.
Seanan McGuire (Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3))
The child, screaming for refuge, senses how feeble a shelter the twig hut of grown-up awareness is. They claim strength, these parents, and complete sanctuary. The weeping earth itself knows how desperate is the child's need for exactly that sanctuary. How deep and sticky is the darkness of childhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unrestrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilizing anesthesia. Grownups can deal with scraped knees, dropped ice-cream cones, and lost dollies, but if they suspected the real reasons we cry they would fling us out of their arms in horrified revulsion. Yet we are small and as terrified as we are terrifying in our ferocious appetites.
Katherine Dunn
Yes, this is what I thought adulthood would be, a kind of long indian summer, a state of tranquility, of calm incuriousness, with nothing left of the barely bearable raw immediacy of childhood, all the things solved that had puzzled me when I was small, all mysteries settled, all questions answered, and the moments dripping away, unnoticed almost, drip by golden drip, toward the final, almost unnoticed, quietus.
John Banville (The Sea)
They had entered the thorny wilderness, and the golden gates of their childhood had for ever closed behind them.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
Just give her one, Ifemelu thought. To overwhelm a child of four with choices, to lay on her the burden of making a decision, was to deprive her of the bliss of childhood. Adulthood, after all, already loomed, where she would have to make grimmer and grimmer decisions.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Children are the closest we have to wisdom, and they become adults the moment that final drop of everything mysterious is strained from them.
Simon Van Booy (Love Begins in Winter: Five Stories)
-Would it help if I said I was very drunk? Brachio shook his head. - We all were. -Shitty childhood? -Mummy used to leave me in a cupboard. -Shitty adulthood? -Whose isn't?
Joe Abercrombie (Red Country (First Law World, #6))
At the most basic level, therefore, secure attachments in both childhood and adulthood are established by two individual's sharing a nonverbal focus on the energy flow (emotional states) and a verbal focus on the information-processing aspects (representational processes of memory and narrative) of mental life. The matter of the mind matters for secure attachments.
Daniel J. Siegel (The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are)
Maybe it’s not metaphysics. Maybe it’s existential. I’m talking about the individual US citizen’s deep fear, the same basic fear that you and I have and that everybody has except nobody ever talks about it except existentialists in convoluted French prose. Or Pascal. Our smallness, our insignificance and mortality, yours and mine, the thing that we all spend all our time not thinking about directly, that we are tiny and at the mercy of large forces and that time is always passing and that every day we’ve lost one more day that will never come back and our childhoods are over and our adolescence and the vigor of youth and soon our adulthood, that everything we see around us all the time is decaying and passing, it’s all passing away, and so are we, so am I, and given how fast the first forty-two years have shot by it’s not going to be long before I too pass away, whoever imagined that there was a more truthful way to put it than “die,” “pass away,” the very sound of it makes me feel the way I feel at dusk on a wintry Sunday—’ ‘And not only that, but everybody who knows me or even knows I exist will die, and then everybody who knows those people and might even conceivably have even heard of me will die, and so on, and the gravestones and monuments we spend money to have put in to make sure we’re remembered, these’ll last what—a hundred years? two hundred?—and they’ll crumble, and the grass and insects my decomposition will go to feed will die, and their offspring, or if I’m cremated the trees that are nourished by my windblown ash will die or get cut down and decay, and my urn will decay, and before maybe three or four generations it will be like I never existed, not only will I have passed away but it will be like I was never here, and people in 2104 or whatever will no more think of Stuart A. Nichols Jr. than you or I think of John T. Smith, 1790 to 1864, of Livingston, Virginia, or some such. That everything is on fire, slow fire, and we’re all less than a million breaths away from an oblivion more total than we can even bring ourselves to even try to imagine, in fact, probably that’s why the manic US obsession with production, produce, produce, impact the world, contribute, shape things, to help distract us from how little and totally insignificant and temporary we are.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Often the adult book is not for you, not yet, or will only be for you when you're ready. But sometimes you will read it anyway, and you will take from it whatever you can. Then, perhaps, you will come back to it when you're older, and you will find the book has changed because you have changed as well, and the book is wiser, or more foolish, because you are wiser or more foolish than you were as a child.
Neil Gaiman
It is, I suppose, the common grief of children at having to protect their parents from reality. It is bitter for the young to see what awful innocence adults grow into, that terrible vulnerability that must be sheltered from the rodent mire of childhood. Can we blame the child for resenting the fantasy of largeness? Big, soft arms and deep voices in the dark saying, "Tell Papa, tell Mama, and we'll make it right." The child, screaming for refuge, senses how feeble a shelter the twig hut of grown-up awareness is. They claim strength, these parents, and complete sanctuary. The weeping earth itself knows how desperate is the child's need for exactly that sanctuary. How deep and sticky is the darkness of childhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unrestrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilizing anesthesia. Grownups can deal with scraped knees, dropped ice-cream cones, and lost dollies, but if they suspected the real reasons we cry they would fling us out of their arms in horrified revulsion. Yet we are small and as terrified as we are terrifying in our ferocious appetites. We need that warm adult stupidity. Even knowing the illusion, we cry and hide in their laps, speaking only of defiled lollipops or lost bears, and getting lollipop or a toy bear'd worth of comfort. We make do with it rather than face alone the cavernous reaches of our skull for which there is no remedy, no safety, no comfort at all. We survive until, by sheer stamina, we escape into the dim innocence of our own adulthood and its forgetfulness.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
Her childhood had been magical, hours spent in ecstatic loneliness in the apple orchard, dreaming of foreign lands and wild adventures. Everything was new, down to bird song and grass blades. By the time she had reached adulthood, the town around her was like a grandmother who had used up all her stories and now simply rocked on the porch. The same flowers, the same streets, year after year. She longed for someone more exotic. A prince. A pirate.
Kathy Hepinstall (Blue Asylum)
Children’s and YA books are about being brave and kind, about learning wisdom and love, about that journey into and through maturity that we all keep starting, and starting again, no matter how old we get. I think that’s why so many adults read YA: we’re never done coming of age.
Betsy Cornwell
You see, I don't think age matters so much as people think. Parts of me are still 12 and I think other parts were already 50 when I was 12….
C.S. Lewis (Letters to Children)
Children are not like us. They are beings apart: impenetrable, unapproachable. They inhabit not our world but a world we have lost and can never recover. We do not remember childhood -- we imagine it. We search for it, in vain, through layers of obscuring dust, and recover some bedraggled shreds of what we think it was. And all the while the inhabitants of this world are among us, like aborigines, like Minoans, people from elsewhere safe in their own time-capsule.
Penelope Lively (Moon Tiger)
All infants and children require and deserve comfort in order to develop properly. Soft cooing voices, gentle touch, smiles, cleanliness, and wholesome food all contribute to the growing body/mind. And when these basic conditions are absent in childhood, our need for comfort in adulthood can be so profound that it becomes pathological, driving us to seek mothering from anyone who will have us, to use others to fill our emptiness with sex or love, and to risk becoming addicted to a perceived source of comfort.
Alexandra Katehakis (Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence)
We go to school for twelve or more years during our childhoods and early adulthoods, and then we’re done. But when the pace of change gets this fast, the only way to retain a lifelong working capacity is to engage in lifelong learning.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
Parents expect only two things from their children, obedience in their childhood and respect in their adulthood.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
The monsters were never under our bed, but in the forest our future.
Crystal Woods (Write like no one is reading 2)
The red firelight glowed on their two bonny heads and revealed their faces, animated with the eager interest of children; for, though he was twenty-three and she eighteen, each had so much of novelty to feel, and learn, that neither experienced nor evinced the sentiments of sober disenchanted maturity.
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
Kimberly Reed explains why this love has transferred to adulthood, saying, "When you love something as a kid, you never stop loving it; you just tuck that love away in a different spot in your heart.
Nikki Van Noy (New Kids on the Block: Five Brothers and a Million Sisters)
I had spent my childhood and the better part of my early adulthood trying to understand my mother. She had been an extraordinarily difficult person, spiteful and full of rage, with a temper that could flare, seemingly out of nowhere, scorching everything and everyone who got in its way. [pp. 40-41]
Dani Shapiro (Devotion: A Memoir)
On her fifteenth anniversary, she lined up her thirty six dolls and beheaded them with a single swing, proudly announcing the end of her childhood.
Yanko Tsvetkov (Codex Hyperboreanus (Apophenia, #2))
The adult world may seem a cold and empty place, with no fairies and no Father Christmas, no Toyland or Narnia, no Happy Hunting Ground where mourned pets go, and no angels - guardian or garden variety. But there are also no devils, no hellfire, no wicked witches, no ghosts, no haunted houses, no daemonic possession, no bogeymen or ogres. Yes, Teddy and Dolly turn out not to be really alive. But there are warm, live, speaking, thinking, adult bedf ellows to hold, and many of us find it a more rewarding kind of love than the childish affection for stuffed toys, however soft and cuddly they may be.
Richard Dawkins (Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder)
Perhaps, when you leave your childhood behind too early and jump into adulthood, certain parts of you never fully grow up. They just become stunted child parts disguised in a grown-up body.
Angela Hoke (A Whisper of Smoke)
When we graduate from childhood into adulthood, we’re thrown into this confusing, Cthulhu-like miasma of life, filled with social and career problems, all with branching choices and no correct answers. Sometimes gaming feels like going back to that simple kid world.
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
This is why Max loved Mr. Beckmann: he was an equal. He seemed to have navigated his way through seven or so decades of adulthood without forgetting one moment of his childhood- what he loved and hated, feared and coveted.
Dave Eggers (The Wild Things)
This is the pivot between youth and age, the thrilling place where everything seems visible, feels possible, where plans are made. On the one side you have childhood and adolescence, which are the murky ascent, and, on the other, you have the decline that is adulthood, old age, the inch-by-inch reckoning of that grand, brief vision with earthbound reality.
Bill Clegg (Did You Ever Have a Family)
Life is three hours journey; childhood, adulthood & old-hood; filled with inspiration, perspiration and desperation.
Santosh Kalwar
Inside my house, nobody was home, except everybody, but it was easy to feel like those were one and the same.
Alison Espach (The Adults)
The day you graduate from childhood to adulthood is the day you take full responsibility for your life.
Darren Hardy (The Compound Effect)
The most profound message of racial segregation may be that the absence of people of color from our lives is no real loss. Not one person who loved me, guided me, or taught me ever conveyed that segregation deprived me of anything of value. I could live my entire life without a friend or loved one of color and not see that as a diminishment of my life. In fact, my life trajectory would almost certainly ensure that I had few, if any, people of color in my life. I might meet a few people of color if I played certain sports in school, or if there happened to be one or two persons of color in my class, but when I was outside of that context, I had no proximity to people of color, much less any authentic relationships. Most whites who recall having a friend of color in childhood rarely keep these friendships into adulthood. Yet if my parents had thought it was valuable to have cross-racial relationships, they would have ensured that I had them, even if it took effort—the same effort so many white parents expend to send their children across town so they can attend a better (whiter) school. Pause for a moment and consider the profundity of this message: we are taught that we lose nothing of value through racial segregation. Consider the message we send to our children—as well as to children of color—when we describe white segregation as good.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.' I said, 'Are you a monster? Like Ursula Monkton?' Lettie threw a pebble into the pond. 'I don't think so,' she said. 'Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren't.' I said, 'People should be scared of Ursula Monkton.' 'P'raps. What do you think Ursula Monkton is scared of?' 'Dunno. Why do you think she's scared of anything? She's a grown-up, isn't she? Grown-ups and monsters aren't scared of things.' Oh, monsters are scared," said Lettie. "That's why they're monsters. And as for grown-ups...' She stopped talking, rubbed her freckled nose with a finger. Then, 'I'm going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
Sometimes your kids will say the nastiest things, won't they, Rose? You want to ask,'Whose child is this?'" Rose chuckled. "But usually, they're just in some kind of pain. They need to work it out.
Mitch Albom (For One More Day)
Keep those faces in mind, the little girls and boys in the early grades, all trusting the adults to show them the way, all eager and excited about life and what will come next, and then just follow those faces over time. Follow the face of a little girl who doesn't read very well and is told to try harder; who tends to daydream and is told she better pay attention; who talks out in class when she sees something fascinating, like a butterfly on the windowpane, and is told to leave the class and report to the principal; who forgets her homework and is told she will just never learn, will she; who writes a story rich in imagination and insight and is told her handwriting and spelling are atrocious; who asks for help and is told she should try harder herself before getting others to do her work for her; who begins to feel unhappy in school and is told that big girls try harder. This is the brutal process of the breaking of the spirit of a child. I can think of no more precious resource than the spirits of our children. Life necessarily breaks us all down somewhat, but to do it unnecessarily to our children in the name of educating them -- this is a tragedy. To take the joy of learning -- which one can see in any child experimenting with something new -- to take that joy and turn it into fear -- that is something we should never do.
Edward M. Hallowell (Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood)
We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice — that is, until we have stopped saying “It got lost,” and say, “I lost it.
Sydney J. Harris
As a teenager and young adult, I found being mute intensely isolating and dehumanizing. I felt truly like I was just a pair of eyes and ears - an entity without a body, without a face, and without a mouth. I felt as though I was barely a physical being.
Carl Sutton (Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood)
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas
And when adulthood fails you, you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept. There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother's, it will always whisper, you can't have it all, but there is this.
Barbara Ras (Bite Every Sorrow)
Families start out, most of the time, with unconditional acceptance of one another. That acceptance starts in childhood and continues into adulthood. Somewhere in there, between childhood and adulthood, the ability to distinguish right versus wrong is born.
Bart Hopkins (Texas Jack)
I’d had a less tumultuous transition from childhood to adulthood, but somewhere in my twenties I feel like I got stalled in the process and now I’m drifting, marking time without any great passion to move forward.
Janet Evanovich (Top Secret Twenty-one (Stephanie Plum, #21))
You love because you want to need someone the way you did when you were a child, and have them need you too. You eat well because the intensity of taste reminds you of a need satisfied, a pain relieved. The finest paintings are nothing more than the red head of a flower, nodding in the breeze, when you were two years old; the most exciting film is just the way everything was, back in the days when you stared goggle-eyed at the whirling chaos all around you. All these things do is get the adult to shut up for a while, to open for just a moment a tiny sliding window in the cell deep inside, letting the pallid child peep hungrily out and drink the world in before darkness falls again.
Michael Marshall Smith (Only Forward)
Because depressed parents appear put-upon, beleaguered or overwhelmed by the ordinary demands of parenting, their children don’t always learn that they are worthwhile and so are at risk to become depressed themselves in adulthood.
Jonice Webb (Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect)
Parentified children learn to take responsibility for themselves and others early on. They tend to fade into the woodwork and let others take center stage. This extends into adulthood - adult children may put others' needs before their own. They may have difficulty accepting care and attention.
Kimberlee Roth (Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem)
A preserved childhood is better than a repaired adulthood
Fabcos Famas
Past a certain point it is not interesting to think about childhood as the central drama and adulthood as its reprise.
Martha Cooley (The Archivist)
You try all your life to be an adult, but something deep down inside you will always be that child.
Viv Albertine (To Throw Away Unopened)
It's strange how in childhood it feels like tomorrow won't come until the end of forever, but in adulthood it feels like the end of forever could come tomorrow.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
Eventually he understood that he was crying for himself. He was ashamed of the man whom he had become, mourning the man whom he had expected to be when he'd been a boy.
Dean Koontz (Brother Odd (Odd Thomas, #3))
When I was a child, I thought like a child. When I became adult, I seek a deeper understanding of life.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The most childish thing is to believe that you are an adult now...
Himanshu Bisht
And at twelve, heading for adulthood, a child fears that the way she is at that moment is all she's ever going to be.
Jane Yolen
the boredom of childhood is different, richer and more special than the boredom of adulthood,
Charles Finch (A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #1))
In Your Early Years people Tell You, Correct You and Forgive You. But when you become an Adult, they Neither Correct you nor Forgive You
Vineet Raj Kapoor
The most difficult journey any of us ever take in our adulthood is the return to our parents’ house. A home visit makes us recall all of the childhood events that formed us. Returning home reacquaints us with family members and our former self.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Someday I’d have to tell her about Ed Gein, whose mother dressed him as a girl for most of his childhood. He spent most of his adulthood killing women and making clothes out of their skin.
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1))
All too soon the garden of childhood is paved cold with the asphalt roads of adulthood. And while it is not within her power to halt this unrelenting progression, a mother can diligently guard this most precious garden and insure that the roads become gentle paths that wind through it instead of byways that kill it.
Craig D. Lounsbrough (Flecks of Gold on a Path of Stone: Simple Truths for Profound Living)
Childhood doesn’t exist for children; however, for adults childhood is that former country we lost one day and which we futilely seek to recover by inhabiting it with diffuse or nonexistent memories, which in general are nothing but shadows of other dreams.
Juan Gabriel Vásquez (La forma de las ruinas)
The depressed person’s therapist was always extremely careful to avoid appearing to judge or blame the depressed person for clinging to her defenses, or to suggest that the depressed person had in any way consciously chosen or chosen to cling to a chronic depression whose agony made her (i.e., the depressed person’s) every waking hour feel like more than any person could possibly endure. This renunciation of judgment or imposed value was held by the therapeutic school in which the therapist’s philosophy of healing had evolved over almost fifteen years of clinical experience to be integral to the combination of unconditional support and complete honesty about feelings which composed the nurturing professionalism required for a productive therapeutic journey toward authenticity and intrapersonal wholeness. Defenses against intimacy, the depressed person’s therapist’s experiential theory held, were nearly always arrested or vestigial survival-mechanisms; i.e., they had, at one time, been environmentally appropriate and necessary and had very probably served to shield a defenseless childhood psyche against potentially unbearable trauma, but in nearly all cases they (i.e., the defense-mechanisms) had become inappropriately imprinted and arrested and were now, in adulthood, no longer environmentally appropriate and in fact now, paradoxically, actually caused a great deal more trauma and pain than they prevented. Nevertheless, the therapist had made it clear from the outset that she was in no way going to pressure, hector, cajole, argue, persuade, flummox, trick, harangue, shame, or manipulate the depressed person into letting go of her arrested or vestigial defenses before she (i.e., the depressed person) felt ready and able to risk taking the leap of faith in her own internal resources and self-esteem and personal growth and healing to do so (i.e., to leave the nest of her defenses and freely and joyfully fly).
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
Forcing a child into adult pursuits is one of the subtlest varieties of soul murder. Very often we find that the narcissist was deprived of his childhood. Consider the gifted child, the Wunderkind: the answer to his mother's prayers and the salve to her frustrations… The Wunderkind narcissist refuses to grow up. In his mind, his tender age formed an integral part of the precocious miracle that he once was. One looks much less phenomenal and one's exploits and achievements are much less awe-inspiring at the age of 40 than the age of 4. Better stay young forever and thus secure an interminable stream of Narcissistic Supply. So, the narcissist abjures all adult skills and chores: he never takes out a driver's license; he does not have children; he rarely has sex; he never settles down in one place; he rejects intimacy. In short, he renounces adulthood. Absent adult skills he assumes no adult responsibilities. He expects indulgence from others.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited)
Our lives are scattered throughout with periods of unbelonging; in childhood, of course, and adolescence; but in adulthood too, when sudden loss (or gain) forces us to reassess things we believe immutable.
Clive Barker (The Nightbreed Chronicles)
...childhood boredom is a special kind of boredom. It is a boredom full of dreams, a sort of projection into another place, into another reality. In adulthood boredom is made of repetition, it is the continuation of something from which we are no longer expecting any surprise.
Italo Calvino
There was a time when that kind of thing looked like the kingdom of heaven, but somewhere along the line it had lost its glow. Maybe that was just the cost of growing up. And maybe the cost of growing up was too high.
James P. Blaylock (Night Relics (Ghosts, #1))
FËDOR Mikhailovich Dostoevski, the Russian novelist, said one time that, "One sacred memory from childhood is perhaps the best education." I can think of another quickie education for a child, which, in its way, is almost as salutary: Meeting a human being who is tremendously respected by the adult world, and realizing that that person is actually a malicious lunatic.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slapstick, or Lonesome No More!)
The experience of childhood sexual abuse leaves some survivors with a high tolerance for pain. Dysfunctional environments require endurance and thick skin. Child survivors sometimes have to commit to sticking things out in order to survive. This pattern of tolerance follows you into adulthood. Instead of using pain as a signal to evaluate and change direction, you may use pain as a signal to try harder. Try harder to please someone. Try harder to control your children. Try harder to be a good friend. Try harder to be successful at a job that you hate. You remain in survival mode that you picked up as a child. Your high tolerance for pain keeps you committed to dysfunctional experiences and relationships that recycle pain from the past. Sometimes, the only way out of this cycle is time in isolation to learn what peace feels like. Sometimes you have to be willing to let go of everything in order to learn how to hold onto anything.
Rosenna Bakari
Although they had been honed like hawks toward the guns since early childhood, Cuthbert and Alain still carried an erroneous belief common to many boys their age: that their elders were also their betters, at least in such matters as planning and wit; they actually believed that grownups knew what they were doing.
Stephen King (Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4))
Some people grow up gradually, the foundations of their childhood steadily sinking into the earth so slowly they barely notice the change. Until one day they’re simply standing on their own two feet with little idea how they got there. Then there are people whose childhoods are smashed to bits in one blow. They topple into adulthood, flailing about for something to hold onto, and the terror of falling leaves a permanent scar on their psyche. Do those people ever end up feeling safe?
Kristen Callihan (The Friend Zone (Game On, #2))
As Washington, Adams, and Jefferson reached the cusp of adulthood, each exhibited a passion for independence. Each hungered for emancipation from the entanglements of childhood and sought to carve out an autonomous existence. The handmaiden to each young man's zeal for self-mastery was a propulsive ambition that drove him to yearn for more than his father had attained, for more even than his father had ever hoped to achieve.
John Ferling (Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution)
Not to grow up properly is to retain our 'caterpillar' quality from childhood (where it is a virtue) into adulthood (where it becomes a vice). In childhood our credulity serves us well. It helps us to pack, with extraordinary rapidity, our skulls full of the wisdom of our parents and our ancestors. But if we don't grow out of it in the fullness of time, our caterpillar nature makes us a sitting target for astrologers, mediums, gurus, evangelists and quacks. The genius of the human child, mental caterpillar extraordinary, is for soaking up information and ideas, not for criticizing them. If critical faculties later grow it will be in spite of, not because of, the inclinations of childhood. The blotting paper of the child's brain is the unpromising seedbed, the base upon which later the sceptical attitude, like a struggling mustard plant, may possibly grow. We need to replace the automatic credulity of childhood with the constructive scepticism of adult science.
Richard Dawkins (Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder)
In idyllic small towns I sometimes see teenagers looking out of place in their garb of desperation, the leftover tatters and stains and slashes of the fashion of my youth. For this phase of their life, the underworld is their true home, and in the grit and underbelly of a city they could find something that approximates it. Even the internal clock of adolescents changes, making them nocturnal creatures for at least a few years. All through childhood you grow toward life and then in adolescence, at the height of life, you begin to grow toward death. This fatality is felt as an enlargement to be welcomed and embraced, for the young in this culture enter adulthood as a prison, and death reassures them that there are exits. “I have been half in love with easeful death,” said Keats who died at twenty-six and so were we, though the death we were in love with was only an idea then.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Adulthood is an attempt to become the antithesis of the wounded child within us.
Stewart Stafford
Adults often treat each other as children, and children as adults.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
যে শৈশবে শিশু ছিল না, সে যৌবনে যুবক হতে পারবে না।
Pramatha Choudhury (বীরবলের হালখাতা)
Addition to Dan's Laws of the Universe If the childhood version of yourself would hate the adulthood version of yourself, you suck at life.
Matthew Dicks (Twenty-one Truths About Love)
Every child born into the world has a divine mission to fulfill. As the child grows into adulthood, he or she must act to fulfill the divine mission.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The adult were once young. The young have not yet attained adulthood.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Being a child sucked. Being a teenager was worse. And being an adult seemed so far away that I had a better chance at swimming the length of the ocean than growing up.
Shannon A. Thompson (2013: A Stellar Collection)
My father had been my Moses, bringing me to life. Then my grandfather became my Joshua, carrying me through my childhood and teen years into adulthood.
Wes Moore (The Work)
I wonder if we're only our true selves as children, before life starts to go wrong.
Eve Chase (The Wildling Sisters)
children spend their time for they think they have more time; adults cry over their time for they see they have less time
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Adults were constantly auditioning, but for what?
Alison Espach (The Adults)
Furthermore, what fundamentally distinguishes adulthood from childhood is that the adult has access to a great many more sources of hope than the child.
The School of Life (On Confidence)
Your childhood is spent being nurtured, protected, loved unconditionally while your adulthood is spent searching in vain for substitutes. Mate, government, God…
Max Brooks (Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre)
The life before had happened to me as childhood happens to everyone. The mark of adulthood is when we happen to life.
Jedidiah Jenkins (To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret)
Children are blessed with extremely low standards when it comes to what they regard as fun or funny.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
In a way, the lack of Panjabi in your childhood has helped create a love for the language in your adulthood.
Jagmeet Singh (Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience, and Overcoming the Unexpected)
Bullying is an attack upon the runts of the litter - the weak of the species, and it is predicated on a lack of bond with the parents. If a child has a secure bond with the parents, that forms a force-field around the child in terms of bullying. If the child does not have a strong bond with the parents, then it's like being separated from the herd - those are the ones who get picked off by the human predators in childhood and adulthood. So keep your contacts as close as you can, they provide an amazing shield against bullies and users.
Stefan Molyneux
In this way, moral formation is not individual; it is relational. Character is not something you build sitting in a room thinking about the difference between right and wrong and about your own willpower. Character emerges from our commitments. If you want to inculcate character in someone else, teach them how to form commitments—temporary ones in childhood, provisional ones in youth, permanent ones in adulthood. Commitments are the school for moral formation. When your life is defined by fervent commitments, you are on the second mountain.
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
I’ve always thought that one of the signs of true adulthood is when you realize that you spend each Christmas trying to relive childhood memories that never really happened in the first place.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell (The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir)
Through the whole trajectory from birth to childhood to adolescence and then into adulthood, we change so much, not only physically but also emotionally and intellectually, yet something remains unchanged. That sense of something unchanged is the eternal spark within. At the beginning it may be felt as a very subtle, almost incomprehensible intuition, but when we bring our full attention to that felt intuition of what’s the same throughout our whole lives, then that little seed of divine radiance can begin to reveal itself, can begin to shine brighter and brighter in our lives.
Adyashanti (Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic)
A streak of Puritanism runs deep within American society. Permissive and pioneering as we may be on the one hand, we are strict and conservative on the other. As much as we may be a country of mavericks and entrepreneurs, we are also a country of finger waggers and name-callers. As much as we may be a country of compassion for the underdog, we are also a country that believes in self-reliance.
Edward M. Hallowell (Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood)
So ended the formative period in [his] life, the single year that set in motion all the clockwork of his future identity. Thinking back on it, I wonder if it isn't the same for all of us. Adulthood is a glacier encroaching quietly on youth. When it arrives, the stamp of childhood suddenly freezes, capturing us for good in the image of our last act, the pose we struck when the ice of age set in.
Ian Caldwell (The Rule of Four)
For all their simplicity, humans could be remarkably perceptive, though they didn't know it most of the time, and their ability to thrust straight through deception and see to the heart of truth was often lost with childhood. By adulthood humans had trained themselves to be coy and manipulative in response to the coy and manipulative society in which they lived, which led them to believe that everyone was trying to be as coy and manipulative as themselves and were uncertain about what was true and what was not. Beyond their few flashes of clarity, everything became a muddle of colliding doubts.
Sean DeLauder (The Speaker for the Trees)
Is it only in childhood that we are capable of taking in the whole world? What does it do to us that we briefly have that privilege? And, then, what harm , when the fund of novelty in human experience runs dry?
Gregory Maguire (Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker)
To both the racist and the puritan, childhood is not a time of life that we grow out of, as the life of the child grows out of the life of the parent or as a plant grows out of the soil, but a time and state of consciousness to be left behind, to cut oneself off from ... The child may be joyous, the man must be sober and self-denying; the child may be free, the man is to be "responsible"; the child may be candid in his feelings, the man must be polite, restrained, mindful of the demands of convention; the child may be playful, the man must be industrious. I am not necessarily objecting to the manly virtues, but I am objecting that they should be so exclusively assigned to grownups, and that grownups should be so exclusively restricted to them. A man may have all the prescribed adult virtues and, if he lacks the childhood virtues, still be a dunce and a bore and a liar.
Wendell Berry (The Hidden Wound)
The last thing we want to admit is that the forbidden fruit on which we have been gnawing since reaching the magic age of twenty-one is the same mealy Golden Delicious that we stuff into our children’s lunch boxes. The last thing we want to admit is that the bickering of the playground perfectly presages the machinations of the boardroom, that our social hierarchies are merely an extension of who got picked first for the kickball team, and that grown-ups still get divided into bullies and fatties and crybabies. What’s a kid to find out? Presumably we lord over them an exclusive deed to sex, but this pretense flies so fantastically in the face of fact that it must result from some conspiratorial group amnesia. […] In truth, we are bigger, greedier versions of the same eating, shitting, rutting ruck, hell-bent on disguising from somebody, if only from a three-year-old, that pretty much all we do is eat and shit and rut. The secret is there is no secret. That is what we really wish to keep from our kids, and its supression is the true collusion of adulthood, the pact we make, the Talmud we protect.
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
It is always appropriate to ask for love, but to ask any other adult (including our parents in the present) to meet our primal needs is unfair and unrealistic. Most of us emerge from childhood with conscious and unconscious primal wounds and emotional unfinished business. What we leave incomplete we are doomed to repeat. The untreated traumas of childhood become the frustrating dramas of adulthood. Our fantasy of the “perfect partner,” or our disappointments in a relationship we do not change or leave, or the dramas that keep arising in our relationships reveal our unique unmet primal wounds and needs. We try so hard to get from others what once we missed. What was missed can never be made up for, only mourned and let go of. Only then are we able to relate to adults as adults.
David Richo (How to Be an Adult in Love: Letting Love in Safely and Showing It Recklessly)
I grew up in motion. I have never lived outside the Southwest, yet in my childhood I rarely had the same home or lived in the same state for more than a year or two at a time. Well before adulthood I believed that all was right with the world only when I was standing at the brink of every possibility, a voyage not yet taken unraveling before me.
Craig Childs (House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest)
In a way that I haven’t yet figured out how to fully articulate, I believe that children who get to see bald eagles, coyotes, deer, moose, grouse, and other similar sights each morning will have a certain kind of matrix or fabric or foundation of childhood, the nature and quality of which will be increasing rare and valuable as time goes on, and which will be cherished into adulthood, as well as becoming- and this is a leap of faith by me- a source of strength and knowledge to them somehow. That the daily witnessing of the natural wonders is a kind of education of logic and assurance that cannot be duplicated by any other means, or in other place: unique and significant, and, by God, still somehow relevant, even now, in the twenty-first century. For as long as possible, I want my girls to keep believing that beauty, though not quite commonplace and never to pass unobserved or unappreciated, is nonetheless easily witnessed on any day, in any given moment, around any forthcoming bend. And that the wild world has a lovely order and pattern and logic, even in the shouting, disorderly chaos of breaking-apart May and reassembling May. That if there can be a logic an order even in May, then there can be in all seasons and all things.
Rick Bass
You, on the other hand, have often been told that following God and listening to reason are identical; so bear in mind that for intelligent people the passage from childhood to adulthood is not an abandonment of rules, but a change of ruler: instead of someone [E] whose services are hired and bought, they accept in their lives the divine leadership of reason – and it is only those who follow reason who deserve to be regarded as free. For they alone live as they want, since they have learned to want only what is necessary;
Plutarch (Essays)
Repression often becomes a pattern of behavior leaving little need for release of anger. Upon reaching adulthood, the individual who thus far has adequately repressed rage since childhood may find himself in situations where he is unable to suppress hostile feelings.
F.H. Leibman
Australian shrimp barbecue, when the beers and the rums mix with the hard sun headaches and widespread Saturday night violence spreads across the country behind closed front doors. Truth is, Bich said, Australian childhoods are so idyllic and joyous, so filled with beach visits and backyard games of cricket, that Australian adulthoods can’t possibly meet our childhood expectations. Our perfect early lives in this vast island paradise doom us to melancholy because we know, in the hard honest bones beneath our dubious bronze skin, that we will never again be happier than we were once before. She said we live in the greatest country on earth but we’re actually all miserable deep down inside and the junk cures the misery and the junk industry will never die because Australian misery will never die.
Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe)
Psychologists call the everyday occurrences of my and Lindsay’s life “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs. ACEs are traumatic childhood events, and their consequences reach far into adulthood. The trauma need not be physical. The following events or feelings are some of the most common ACEs: • being sworn at, insulted, or humiliated by parents • being pushed, grabbed, or having something thrown at you
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
I'm going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world." ... I wonderes if that was true: if they were all really children wrapped in adult bodies, like children's books hidden in the middle of dull, long adult books, the kind with no pictures or conversations.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
I've tried to teach what I learned all those years in my mother and father's house, all those things I didn't realize I was learning and that I never knew I'd be so grateful for. When you have love and it's proffered every day in a kind of tender, yet stern insistence and even reckless laughter, when it is given to you and you accept it in life as a thing as natural as rain or snow, or the littler of leaves in fall, you can't help but take it for granted. For a bewildered while you incorrectly understand that the world has given you this becuase it's there in equal measure, everywhere. You never knowuntil it's too late to do anything about it, how seet the effort is: how lasting the human will to love can be in the breast of people who want to make it for you, who want to give it to you, without calculating what's in it fo them, without thinking at all of what it will mean when you grow to full adulthood, see the world as it is, and forget to mention what you have been given. Ever day of my grown-up life, I have wanted to do what my parents did. I have wanted to widen the province of love and weaken hate and bitterness in the hearts of my children. And I've done these things because of what I got from my family, all those lovely years when I was growing up, being loved and cherished and, unbeknown to me, and in the best way, honored, for myself.
Marian Wright Edelman (Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing Up in America)
So the challenge I face with children is the redemption of adulthood. We must make it evident that maturity is the fulfillment of childhood and adolescence, not a diminishing; that it is an affirmation of life, not a denial; that it is entering fully into our essential selves.
Madeleine L'Engle (A Circle of Quiet (The Crosswicks Journals))
Solange wir Kinder sind, denken wir nur selten an die Zukunft. Diese Unschuld ermöglicht es uns, uns zu vergnügen, wie nur wenige Erwachsene das können. Der Tag, an dem wir beginnen, uns Gedanken über die Zukunft zu machen, ist der Tag, an dem wir unsere Kindheit hinter uns lassen.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Yet the stories moved her. She couldn’t deny it. And they moved her in a way only *true* things could. It wasn’t sentiment that brought tears to her eyes. The stories weren’t sentimental. They were tough, even cruel. No, what made her weep was being reminded of an inner life she’d been so familiar with as a child; a life that was both an escape from, and revenge upon, the pains and frustrations of childhood; a life that was neither mawkish nor unknowing; a life of mind-places - haunted, soaring – that she’d chosen to forget when she’d took up the cause of adulthood.
Clive Barker (Weaveworld)
Wie kann ein erwachsener Mensch seine Jugend nur so vollkommen vergessen, dass er eines Tages überhaupt nicht mehr weiß, wie traurig und unglücklich Kinder bisweilen sein können. Es ist nämlich gleichgültig, ob man wegen einer zerbrochenen Puppe weint oder weil man, später einmal, einen Freund verliert.
Erich Kästner (Erich Kästner, Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer Kopiervorlagen)
Nickerson began to understand, as only an adolescent on the verge of adulthood can understand, that the carefree days of childhood were gone forever: “Then it was that I, for the first time, realized that I was alone upon a wide and an unfeeling world . . . without one relative or friend to bestow one kind word upon me.
Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex)
Moral obligations verses Legal obligations. Legally, you must abide by the laws of the land or face the consequences of being fined, imprisoned or both. Moral obligations tend to lean more towards a spiritual nature of a person. Some people perform immoral acts because legally there are no consequences. Morals birth in the heart of the individual. Moral characteristics are developed at an early age and continue into adulthood. It's a disgrace to neglect having good moral character.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
I was a prisoner inside my own body. I felt desperate, angry, stupid, confused, ashamed, hopeless and absolutely alone... and that this was of my own making. I could speak at home, how come I couldn't outside it? I have never been able to find the right words to describe what it was like. Imagine that for one day you are unable to speak to anyone you meet outside your own family, particularly at school/college, or out shopping, etc., have no sign language, no gestures, no facial expression. Then imagine that for eight years, but no one really understands. It was like torture, and I was the only person that knew it was happening. My body and face were frozen most of the time. I became hyperconscious of myself when outside the home and it was a relief to get back as I was always exhausted. I attempted to hide it (an impossible task) because I felt so ashamed that I couldn't do what other people seemed to find so natural and easy - to speak. At times I felt suicidal.
Carl Sutton (Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood)
Peter Pan has to be the book of my childhood. Come to think of it, it's the book of my adulthood too. It's a book which, in the reading of it, takes me back to editions that I've had and lost, with various illustrators' work in them. It brings back moments sitting reading it with my mother. It brings back my first contact with the Disney cartoon. It brings back standing in the play-yard when I was a kid, when the wind was really blowing, and closing my eyes, spreading my arms and pretending I could fly. It brings back childhood dreams of flying. It brings back the first encounter I ever had with an invented world... Never Never Land was really the first journey I took to an invented world which I believed in wholly and completely. I remember the immense solidarity that I felt with the Lost Boys, with Peter, with the Indians - how much I wanted to be a Red Indian - how much the saving of Tiger Lily meant to me as a kid, how much I wanted to one day wake up and save an Indian squaw from drowning.
Clive Barker
Aloneness – that is what SM feels like to me. Isolated, alone, separated, left out as I silently stand by watching others experience life while the words freeze inside me, afraid to speak up or join in a conversation. Actually feeling the anxiety shaking inside my chest as I try to get up the courage to speak to someone or call or text a friend. SM feels like the child standing alone behind the door watching the other kids in the playground – afraid to ask, 'may I play?' It feels like the teenager standing silently against the wall, listening to classmates laugh and chat, invisible to everyone and wondering what it would be like to have a friend. It feels like the 50-year-old office worker, alone in her cube while others chat and laugh in the aisle, still left out. I live inside a shell, a mask that looks like me, but isn't me. I am in here, but it is really hard to let others see. I'm so grateful for the few dear friends I have now. Most people, though, only see the shell and assume I'm aloof and uncaring because I am quiet. I feel very deeply. I feel others' joy and pain intensely, yet they rarely know. I'm not quiet because I am uncaring. I'm silent because I'm afraid.
Carl Sutton (Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood)
True adulthood would mean no longer denying the truth. It would mean feeling the repressed suffering, consciously acknowledging the story remembered by the body at an emotional level, and integrating that story instead of repressing it. Whether contact with the parents can then in fact be maintained will depend on the given circumstances in each individual case. What is absolutely imperative is the termination of the harmful attachment to the internalized parents of childhood, an attachment that, though we call it love, certainly does not deserve the name. It is made up of different ingredients, such as gratitude, compassion, expectations, denial, illusions, obedience, fear, and the anticipation of punishment. Time
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting)
...because you are not trying simply to complete a set of books or toys or Weetabix cards, you are trying to complete yourself, to get back to the whole person you were before, as a child, before the obstructions and compromises of adulthood got in the way. And yet, all you are really doing is accumulating a pile of crap, souvenirs of the futility of the quest.
Neil Perryman (Adventures With the Wife in Space: Living With Doctor Who)
People undergo several sequential steps in maturing from infancy including childhood, adolescences, young adulthood, middle age, and old age. Each stage presents distinct challenges that require a person to amend how they think and act. The motive for seeking significant change in a person’s manner of perceiving the world and behaving vary. Alteration of person’s mindset can commence with a growing sense of awareness that a person is dissatisfied with an aspect of his or her life, which cause a person consciously to consider amending their lifestyle.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
A favorite concept of mine comes from Henri Nouwen’s book The Wounded Healer. The premise of the book is that as we travel life’s journey from childhood to adulthood we acquire wounds along the way. A wound can be any unresolved social, emotional, relational issue that still impacts our lives. These wounds can be inflicted by negative cultural messages or experiences with parents, peers, or adults with power and authority over us. Unresolved, these wounds can leave us with a sense of deficiency or inferiority. We can let unhealed wounds drive us and risk hurting our players through endless self-serving transactions, or we can heal ourselves and then help heal our players. Nouwen says we have two choices: Either we deny, repress, or dissociate from the wounding and therefore wound others with our unhealed injuries, or we bring healing to our wounds and offer our healed wounds to others to heal and transform their lives. I am a wounded healer and this is the story of my wounds, their healing, and the transformation in coaching that ensued because I chose to process and grieve over my pain instead of hiding it and acting it out.
Joe Ehrmann (insideout coaching)
Far in the future, Hannah will have a boyfriend named Mike with whom she'll talk about her father. She'll say she isn't sorry about her upbringing before the divorce, that she thinks in a lot of ways it was useful. Being raised in an unstable household makes you understand that the world doesn't exist to accommodate you, which, in Hannah's observation, is something a lot of people struggle to understand well into adulthood. It makes you realize how quickly a situation can shift, how danger really is everywhere. But crises, when they occur, do not catch you off guard; you have never believed you live under the shelter of some essential benevolence. And an unstable childhood makes you appreciate calmness and not crave excitement. To spend a Saturday afternoon mopping your kitchen floor while listening to an opera on the radio, and to go that night to an Indian restaurant with a friend and be home by nine o' clock--these are enough. They are gifts.
Curtis Sittenfeld (The Man of My Dreams)
What she responded to most powerfully, sometimes even physically, were novels. Once Greer read Anna Karenina for such a long, unbroken bout that her eyes grew strained and bloodshot, and she had to lie in bed with a washcloth over them as if she herself were a literary heroine from the past. Novels had accompanied her throughout her childhood, that period of protracted isolation, and they would probably do so during whatever lay ahead in adulthood. Regardless of how bad it got at Ryland, she knew that at least she would be able to read there, because this was college, and reading was what you did.
Meg Wolitzer (The Female Persuasion)
They cramp around our wounds—the pain from our childhood, the losses and disappointments of adulthood, the humiliations suffered in both—to keep us from getting hurt in the same place again, to keep foreign substances out. So those wounds never have a chance to heal. Perfectionism is one way our muscles cramp. In some cases we don’t even know that the wounds and the cramping are there, but both limit us.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Childhood is like that, so full of treasures. I've tried to bring as many of those treasures with me, into adulthood, as possible. Otherwise, what is it to be grown? Is learning to die, one day at a time.
Sonya Chung (Long for This World)
Adolescence--the time when teens begin to do things adults do--now happens later. Thirteen-year-olds--and even 18-year-olds-- are less likely to act like adults and spend their time like adults. They are more likely, instead, to act like children--not by being immature, necessarily, but by postponing the usual activities of adults. Adolescence is now an extension of childhood rather than the beginning of adulthood.
Jean M. Twenge (iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us)
Belief is like that, a circle, and often I find that the seemingly simplistic explanations from childhood for the unexplainable have merit, maybe more so than all the educated and contrived answers of adulthood.
Frances A. Washburn (The Sacred White Turkey)
These pups are not damaged goods; they are not defective. If they can get a safe, stable, and nurturing environment at an early age, the biology says that this sets them up to develop a healthy stress-response system in adulthood. As we’ve mentioned, the key to keeping a tolerable stress response from tipping over into the toxic stress zone is the presence of a buffering adult to adequately mitigate the impact of the stressor.
Nadine Burke Harris (The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity)
When you're a kid and a teen, you're not in control of your circumstances. But the beautiful thing about growing up is that you get to create your own reality and your own family. That family might be a group of tight-knit friends, that family might be a spouse and children of your own. But ultimately, your childhood realities do not have to perpetuate themselves into adulthood, not if you don't let them. It for sure takes work.
Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Hey, Kiddo)
While very small, unless our childhood was damaged, those around us did their best to keep us absolutely safe, warm, cared for, loved. We leave that behind as we grow to adulthood, but we’ll always be looking for it again, always be wanting to recreate the security and the validation that was ours in the early years. ‘In love’ holds out the promise that our beloved will make us the centre of their world, and for ever. No wonder it’s an obsessive compulsion. We
Susan Quilliam (How to Choose a Partner: The School of Life)
Limitations are the illusions of our minds. Every single limit you have is the belief that was created during your childhood or by yourself in adulthood. It was created in your own mind. Marie Forleo said in one of her interviews that our beliefs create our thoughts, and our thoughts create our feelings, and our feelings creates our behavior, and our behavior creates our results. So, to change your life, you have to change your belief, but in order to change your belief, you have to go way back and figure out where it comes from.
Ani Rich (A Missing Drop: Free Your Mind From Conditioning And Reconnect To Your Truest Self)
When you’re a kid, you don’t think about big stuff that could change your life. You think about small things that might terrify you –like a bad report card or missing a goal in front of all your friends or your friends no longer wanting to play with you. Because that's the biggest stuff you know. The biggest disappointments are all tied to this small little universe of yours, because bigger things cannot fit into a small universe. If you wanted bigger things in there you needed to have more room –or make more room. Perhaps you thought about your parents or your pets dying, which was rare. But all you knew was you would be terribly sad and lonely. And on those occasions when people or pets actually died, someone usually came along and distracted you from feeling too much of your actual feelings. Grownups did that –they never left you alone to feel alone or think alone too much. They tended to think you are too small to know how to think and feel in big heaps, so they took parts of your heap onto themselves. To help – but in the long run –it doesn’t help at all. Because if you do not see, or feel or think, or taste the bitter things in life, you don’t know they exist. You have not seen enough of the world to know how terrible it could be. And unfortunately for Sam, this inability to process change persisted into adulthood.
Adelheid Manefeldt (Consequence)
Bloom of adulthood. Try a whiff of that. On your back in the dark you remember. Ah you remember. Cloudless May day. She joins you in the little summerhouse. Entirely of logs. Both larch and fir. Six feet across. Eight from floor to vertex. Area twenty-four square feet to the furthest decimal. Two small multicoloured lights vis-a-vis. Small stained diamond panes. Under each a ledge. There on summer Sundays after his midday meal your father loved to retreat with Punch and a cushion. The waist of his trousers unbuttoned he sat on the one ledge and turned the pages. You on the other your feet dangling. When he chuckled you tried to chuckle too. When his chuckle died yours too. That you should try to imitate his chuckle pleased and amused him greatly and sometimes he would chuckle for no other reason than to hear you try to chuckle too. Sometimes you turn your head and look out through a rose-red pane. You press your little nose against the pane and all without is rosy. The years have flown and there at the same place as then you sit in the bloom of adulthood bathed in rainbow light gazing before you. She is late.
Samuel Beckett (As the Story Was Told (Beckett Short))
The inner feeling of emptiness from which passive dependent people suffer is the direct result of their parents’ failure to fulfill their needs for affection, attention and care during their childhood. It was mentioned in the first section that children who are loved and cared for with relative consistency throughout childhood enter adulthood with a deepseated feeling that they are lovable and valuable and therefore will be loved and cared for as long as they remain true to themselves. Children growing up in an atmosphere in which love and care are lacking or given with gross inconsistency enter adulthood with no such sense of inner security. Rather, they have an inner sense of insecurity, a feeling of “I don’t have enough” and a sense that the world is unpredictable and ungiving, as well as a sense of themselves as being questionably lovable and valuable. It is no wonder, then, that they feel the need to scramble for love, care and attention wherever they can find it, and once having found it, cling to it with a desperation that leads them to unloving, manipulative, Machiavellian behavior that destroys the very relationships they seek to preserve. As also indicated in the previous section, love and discipline go hand in hand, so that unloving, uncaring parents are people lacking in discipline, and when they fail to provide their children with a sense of being loved, they also fail to provide them with the capacity for self-discipline. Thus the excessive dependency of the passive dependent individuals is only the principal manifestation of their personality disorder. Passive dependent people lack self-discipline. They are unwilling or unable to delay gratification of their hunger for attention. In
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Borders are always tricky, intriguing things. [...] Feral children fascinate because they stand at the border of the animal world. Gorillas and dolphins fascinate because they stand at the border of the human world. [...] Shakespeare's fools fascinate because they live at the border between sanity and madness. The heroes of tragedy fascinate because they walk the border between triumph and defeat. The borders between prehuman and human, between childhood and adulthood, between generations, between nations and peoples, between social and political paradigms - all of these are intensely fascinating.
Daniel Quinn (The Story of B (Ishmael, #2))
Adults often forgot what it was like to grow through childhood and into adulthood. They forgot that adolescence was a process of circumstances and emotions, chained together over time, the linking of epiphanies whose only requirement was to be experienced firsthand. Life was a firsthand sort of thing.
Megan Squires (Love Like Crazy)
Mind is just a word we use to describe neural activity in the brain. No brain, no mind. We know this because if a part of the brain is destroyed through stroke or cancer or injury or surgery, whatever that part of the brain was doing is now gone. If the damage occurs in early childhood when the brain is especially plastic, or in adulthood in certain parts of the brain that are conducive to rewiring, then that brain function—that “mind” part of the brain—may be rewired into another neural network in the brain. But this process just further reinforces the fact that without neural connections in the brain there is no mind.
Michael Shermer (The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths)
Family is not disparate relationships between individuals and machines, in separate rooms of a house. Childhood is not a race to accumulate all of the consumer goods and stresses of adulthood in record time. Simplification signals a change and makes room for transformation. It is a stripping away that invites clarity.
Kim John Payne (Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids)
I learned that we may meet a true love and that our lives may be transformed by such an encounter even when it does not lead to sexual pleasure, committed bonding, or even sustained contact. The myth of true love-that fairy-tale vision of two souls who meet, join, and live happily ever thereafter-is the stuff of childhood fantasy. Yet many of us, female and male, carry these fantasies into adulthood and are unable to cope with the reality of what it means to either have an intense life-altering connection that will not lead to an ongoing relationship or to be in a relationship. True love does not always lead to happily ever after, and even when it does sustaining love still takes work.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
He was still so very young. Faeries—true faeries, not their changeling throwaways—live forever, and when you have an eternity of adulthood ahead of you, you linger over childhood. You tend it and keep it close to your heart, because once it ends, it’s over. Quentin was barely fifteen. He’d never seen the Great Hunt that came down every twenty-one years, or been present for the crowning of a King or Queen of Cats, or announced his maturity before the throne of High King Aethlin. He was a child, and he should have had decades left to play; a century of games and joy and edging cautiously toward adulthood. But he didn’t. I could see his childhood dying in his eyes as he looked at me, silently begging me to answer for him.
Seanan McGuire (An Artificial Night (October Daye, #3))
People with autism might need more time, but as we grow there are countless things that we can learn how to do, so even if you can’t see your efforts bear fruit, please don’t quit. Our lives are still ahead of us. Some kinds of success can be won by, and only by, sheer effort and sweat. We all have to bear in mind that adulthood lasts a lot longer than childhood.
Naoki Higashida (Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man's Voice from the Silence of Autism)
Families, by and large, like most groups, resist change. If one member of a family wants to move away, this is regarded as a betrayal, for example. If one member of a family is fat and tries to lose weight, often other members of the family will sabotage the effort. If one member of the family wants to get out of a role he or she has been playing for years, this is usually difficult ot do because the rest of the family tries not to let it happen. If your role is clown, you remain the clown. If your role is responsible oldest child, you probably keep that role within your family for your entire life. If you are the black sheep, you'll find it very diffcult to change colors in the eyes of your family no matter how many good deeds you do.
Edward M. Hallowell (Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood)
As children and into our tumultuous teen years, we feel our way through the world. We may be told our intuition is wrong by peers and family. We act on our intuition and are quieted, shushed, or made fun of. In abusive situations, children raise their voice in objection and are silenced by adults who supposedly know better. Our childhood intuition is stuffed down, ignored or suppressed. When you lie to a child, you send the message that their intuition is worthless and unreliable. This same child grows into adulthood questioning and doubting themselves. One of the most empowering things you can do is start to heal, trust and cultivate your intuition. You have the ability to reignite that candle inside yourself. You can reclaim your intuitive facilities. To do so is your birthright.
Sasha Graham (Tarot Diva: Ignite Your Intuition, Glamourize Your Life, Unleash Your Fabulousity!)
When we graduate from childhood into adulthood, we’re thrown into this confusing, Cthulhu-like miasma of life, filled with social and career problems, all with branching choices and no correct answers. Sometimes gaming feels like going back to that simple kid world. Real-life Felicia wasn’t getting more successful, but I could channel my frustration into making Keeblerette an A-list celebrity warlock, thank you very much!
Felicia Day (You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost))
A porpoise sounded twenty yards away from us in an explosion of breath, startling us. . . . Then another porpoise broke the water and rolled toward us. A third and a fourth porpoise neared the board and we could feel great secret shapes eyeing us from below. I reached out to touch the back of one, its skin the color of jade, but as I reached the porpoise dove and my hand touched moonlight where the dorsal fin had been cutting through the silken waters. The dolphins had obviously smelled the flood tide of boyhood in the sea and heard the hormones singing in the boy0scented water. None of us spoke as the porpoises circled us. The visitation was something so rare and perfect that we knew by instinct not to speak – and then, as quickly as they had come, the porpoises moved away from us, moved south where there were fish to be hunted. “Each of us would remember that night floating on the waves all during our lives. It was the year before we went to high school when we were poised on the slippery brink between childhood and adulthood, admiring our own daring as we floated free from the vigilance and approval of adult eyes, ruled only by the indifference of stars and fate. It was the purest moment of freedom and headlong exhilaration that I had ever felt. A wordless covenant was set among us the night of the porpoises.
Pat Conroy (Beach Music)
Nature’s ultimate goal is to foster the growth of the individual from absolute dependence to independence — or, more exactly, to the interdependence of mature adults living in community. Development is a process of moving from complete external regulation to self-regulation, as far as our genetic programming allows. Well-self-regulated people are the most capable of interacting fruitfully with others in a community and of nurturing children who will also grow into self-regulated adults. Anything that interferes with that natural agenda threatens the organism’s chances for long-term survival. Almost from the beginning of life we see a tension between the complementary needs for security and for autonomy. Development requires a gradual and ageappropriate shift from security needs toward the drive for autonomy, from attachment to individuation. Neither is ever completely lost, and neither is meant to predominate at the expense of the other. With an increased capacity for self-regulation in adulthood comes also a heightened need for autonomy — for the freedom to make genuine choices. Whatever undermines autonomy will be experienced as a source of stress. Stress is magnified whenever the power to respond effectively to the social or physical environment is lacking or when the tested animal or human being feels helpless, without meaningful choices — in other words, when autonomy is undermined. Autonomy, however, needs to be exercised in a way that does not disrupt the social relationships on which survival also depends, whether with emotional intimates or with important others—employers, fellow workers, social authority figures. The less the emotional capacity for self-regulation develops during infancy and childhood, the more the adult depends on relationships to maintain homeostasis. The greater the dependence, the greater the threat when those relationships are lost or become insecure. Thus, the vulnerability to subjective and physiological stress will be proportionate to the degree of emotional dependence. To minimize the stress from threatened relationships, a person may give up some part of his autonomy. However, this is not a formula for health, since the loss of autonomy is itself a cause of stress. The surrender of autonomy raises the stress level, even if on the surface it appears to be necessary for the sake of “security” in a relationship, and even if we subjectively feel relief when we gain “security” in this manner. If I chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself “acceptable” to other people, I increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness. The other way of protecting oneself from the stress of threatened relationships is emotional shutdown. To feel safe, the vulnerable person withdraws from others and closes against intimacy. This coping style may avoid anxiety and block the subjective experience of stress but not the physiology of it. Emotional intimacy is a psychological and biological necessity. Those who build walls against intimacy are not self-regulated, just emotionally frozen. Their stress from having unmet needs will be high.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
When I am in a situation where I feel uncomfortable about speaking but it is necessary for me to speak, or if I feel 'put on the spot' my voice sounds strained, really weird, and it feels as if I have no control over how I sound in these situations. Sometimes then my voice is barely audible and I am frequently asked to repeat myself. Attempts at speaking are often embarrassing, shaming experiences for me. I sound quite different when speaking with someone I am more relaxed with, but I don't like the way my voice sounds at the best of times; I was horrified when I heard a recording of myself. Because of this inhibition about speaking, I have never learned to project my voice or to use it effectively. I often feel that I could no more use my vocal cords to break a silence, to get somebody's attention or to initiate an interaction than I could run through fire or do something dangerous in my life.
Carl Sutton (Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood)
That “teaching myself social behaviors” thing, for example, was a window into my entire childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. There were things I needed to learn differently from most of the people around me, and the amount of useful, appropriate support I received back then was exactly zero. At the same time, the criticism I received felt infinite, especially when I tried to articulate my struggles. A person who I probably shouldn’t have been friends with once told me I needed to stop “thinking things through” in social situations and just “let my instincts take over.” In retrospect, I wish I’d replied, “What the hell are you talking about, ‘let my instincts take over’?” He might as well have said, “Just try really hard to grow a third arm between your shoulder blades and eventually it’ll happen!” Nothing about those situations felt instinctive; I had to learn how to navigate them in other ways
Mike Jung ([Don't] Call Me Crazy)
Later, in my adulthood, I will read the book again, even watch the movie, and understand that I wasn’t equipped, as a child, to make room for arguments that would undermine every single choice made for me, that would shatter the foundations of my very existence. I would see that I had to believe everything I was taught, if only to survive. For a long time I wouldn’t be ready to accept that my worldview could be wrong, but I do not look back with shame at my ignorance.
Deborah Feldman
What you describe is parasitism, not love. When you require another individual for your survival, you are a parasite on that individual. There is no choice, no freedom involved in your relationship. It is a matter of necessity rather than love. Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other. We all-each and every one of us-even if we try to pretend to others and to ourselves that we don't have dependency needs and feelings, all of us have desires to be babied, to be nurtured without effort on our parts, to be cared for by persons stronger than us who have our interests truly at heart. No matter how strong we are, no matter how caring and responsible and adult, if we look clearly into ourselves we will find the wish to be taken care of for a change. Each one of us, no matter how old and mature, looks for and would like to have in his or her life a satisfying mother figure and father figure. But for most of us these desires or feelings do not rule our lives; they are not the predominant theme of our existence. When they do rule our lives and dictate the quality of our existence, then we have something more than just dependency needs or feelings; we are dependent. Specifically, one whose life is ruled and dictated by dependency needs suffers from a psychiatric disorder to which we ascribe the diagnostic name "passive dependent personality disorder." It is perhaps the most common of all psychiatric disorders. People with this disorder, passive dependent people, are so busy seeking to be loved that they have no energy left to love…..This rapid changeability is characteristic of passive dependent individuals. It is as if it does not matter whom they are dependent upon as long as there is just someone. It does not matter what their identity is as long as there is someone to give it to them. Consequently their relationships, although seemingly dramatic in their intensity, are actually extremely shallow. Because of the strength of their sense of inner emptiness and the hunger to fill it, passive dependent people will brook no delay in gratifying their need for others. If being loved is your goal, you will fail to achieve it. The only way to be assured of being loved is to be a person worthy of love, and you cannot be a person worthy of love when your primary goal in life is to passively be loved. Passive dependency has its genesis in lack of love. The inner feeling of emptiness from which passive dependent people suffer is the direct result of their parents' failure to fulfill their needs for affection, attention and care during their childhood. It was mentioned in the first section that children who are loved and cared for with relative consistency throughout childhood enter adulthood with a deep seated feeling that they are lovable and valuable and therefore will be loved and cared for as long as they remain true to themselves. Children growing up in an atmosphere in which love and care are lacking or given with gross inconsistency enter adulthood with no such sense of inner security. Rather, they have an inner sense of insecurity, a feeling of "I don't have enough" and a sense that the world is unpredictable and ungiving, as well as a sense of themselves as being questionably lovable and valuable. It is no wonder, then, that they feel the need to scramble for love, care and attention wherever they can find it, and once having found it, cling to it with a desperation that leads them to unloving, manipulative, Machiavellian behavior that destroys the very relationships they seek to preserve. In summary, dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to fiercely attach themselves to one another. But in actuality it is not love; it is a form of antilove. Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds people.
M. Scott Peck
The major impairments of ADD — the distractibility, the hyperactivity and the poor impulse control — reflect, each in its particular way, a lack of self-regulation. Self-regulation implies that someone can direct attention where she chooses, can control impulses and can be consciously mindful and in charge of what her body is doing. Like time literacy, self-regulation is also a distinct task of development in human life, achieved gradually from young childhood through adolescence and adulthood. We are born with no capacity whatsoever to self-regulate emotion or action. For self-regulation to be possible, specific brain centers have to develop and grow connections with other important nerve centers, and chemical pathways need to be established. Attention deficit disorder is a prime illustration of how the adult continues to struggle with the unsolved problems of childhood. She is held back precisely where the child did not develop, hampered in those areas where the infant or toddler got stuck during the course of development.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Adulthood is hell. In the face of such a trenchant position, “moralists” today will utter vague, opprobrious grumblings while waiting for a chance to strike with their obscene intimations. Perhaps Lovecraft actually could not become an adult; what is certain is that he did not want to. And given the values that govern the adult world, how can you argue with him? The reality principle, the pleasure principle, competitiveness, permanent challenges, sex and status—hardly reasons to rejoice. Lovecraft, for his part, knew he had nothing to do with this world. And at each turn he played a losing hand. In theory and in practice. He lost his childhood; he also lost his faith. The world sickened him and he saw no reason to believe that by looking at things better they might appear differently. He saw religions as so many sugar-coated illusions made obsolete by the progress of science. At times, when in an exceptionally good mood, he would speak of the enchanted circle of religious belief, but it was a circle from which he felt banished, anyway.
Michel Houellebecq (H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life)
I no longer missed the restless anticipation I'd experienced during my childhood and the surges of joy and sadness that came with it. I didn't feel troubled when the seasons changed. My heart beat the same in winter as it did in spring, because I knew what was around the corner. If I saw a group of students from my old high school walking home at the end of the day, I felt something close to pity for them: no one had told them yet how ordinary and predictable their lives were going to be. I had, in other words, accepted the measured composure of adulthood.
Mengestu Dinaw
Darren says his mum told him a secret recently about Australians. She said this secret would make him a rich man. She said the greatest secret about Australia is the nation's inherent misery. Bich Dang laughs at the ads on telly with Paul Hogan putting another shrimp on the barbie. She said foreign visitors should rightfully be advised about what happens five hours later at that Australian shrimp barbecue, when the beers and the rums mix with the hard sun headaches and widespread Saturday night violence spreads across the country behind closed front doors. Truth is, Bich said, Australian childhoods are so idyllic and joyous, so filled with beach visits and backyard games of cricket, that Australian adulthoods can’t possibly meet our childhood expectations. Our perfect early lives in this vast island paradise doom us to melancholy because we know, in the hard honest bones beneath our dubious bronze skin, that we will never again be happier than we were once before. She said we live in the greatest country on earth but we’re actually all miserable deep down inside and the junk cures the misery and the junk industry will never die because Australian misery will never die.
Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe)
Before every elementary school classroom had a 'Drop Everything and Read' period, before parents and educators agonized more about children being glued to Call of Duty or getting sucked into the vortex of the Internet, reading as a childhood activity was not always revered. Maybe it was in some families, in some towns, in some magical places that seemed to exist only in stories, but not where I was. Nobody trotted out the kid who read all the time as someone to be admired like the ones who did tennis and ballet and other feats requiring basic coordination. While those other kids pursued their after-school activities in earnest, I failed at art, gymnastics, ice skating, soccer, and ballet with a lethal mix of inability, fear and boredom. Coerced into any group endeavor, I wished I could just be home already. Rainy days were a godsend because you could curl up on a sofa without being banished into the outdoors with an ominous 'Go play outside.' Well into adulthood, I would chastise myself over not settling on a hobby—knitting or yoga or swing dancing or crosswords—and just reading instead. The default position. Everyone else had a passion; where was mine? How much happier I would have been to know that reading was itself a passion. Nobody treated it that way, and it didn't occur to me to think otherwise.
Pamela Paul (My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues)
Books were an antidepressant, a powerful SSRI. She'd always been one of those girls with socked feet tucked under her, her mouth slightly open in stunned, almost doped-up concentration. All written words danced in a chain for her, creating corresponding images as clear as the boy from Iran's bouncing family. She had learned to read before kindergarten, when she'd first suspected that her parents weren't all that interested in her. Then she'd kept going, plowing through children's books with their predictable anthropomorphism, heading eventually into the strange and beautiful formality of the nineteenth century, and pushing backward and forward into histories of bloody wars, into discussions of God and godlessness. What she responded to most powerfully, sometimes even physically, were novels. Once Greer read Anna Karenina for such a long, unbroken bout that her eyes grew strained and bloodshot, and she had to lie in bed with a washcloth over them as if she herself were a literary heroine from the past. Novels had accompanied her throughout her childhood, that period of protracted isolation, and they would probably do so during whatever lay ahead in adulthood. Regardless of how bad it got at Ryland, she knew that at least she would able to read there, because this was college, and reading was what you did.
Meg Wolitzer (The Female Persuasion)
The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither the Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For Childhood is short—a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day— And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
From Sister by ROSAMUND LUPTON    The rain hammered down onto your coffin, pitter-patter; ‘Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, I hear raindrops’; I was five and singing it to you, just born. Your coffin reached the bottom of the monstrous hole. And a part of me went down into the muddy earth with you and lay down next to you and died with you. Then Mum stepped forwards and took a wooden spoon from her coat pocket. She loosened her fingers and it fell on top of your coffin. Your magic wand. And I threw the emails I sign ‘lol’. And the title of older sister. And the nickname Bee. Not grand or important to anyone else, I thought, this bond that we had. Small things. Tiny things. You knew that I didn’t make words out of my alphabetti spaghetti but I gave you my vowels so you could make more words out of yours. I knew that your favourite colour used to be purple but then became bright yellow; (‘Ochre’s the arty word, Bee’) and you knew mine was orange, until I discovered that taupe was more sophisticated and you teased me for that. You knew that my first whimsy china animal was a cat (you lent me 50p of your pocket money to buy it) and that I once took all my clothes out of my school trunk and hurled them around the room and that was the only time I had something close to a tantrum. I knew that when you were five you climbed into bed with me every night for a year. I threw everything we had together - the strong roots and stems and leaves and beautiful soft blossoms of sisterhood - into the earth with you. And I was left standing on the edge, so diminished by the loss, that I thought I could no longer be there. All I was allowed to keep for myself was missing you. Which is what? The tears that pricked the inside of my face, the emotion catching at the top of my throat, the cavity in my chest that was larger than I am. Was that all I had now? Nothing else from twenty-one years of loving you. Was the feeling that all is right with the world, my world, because you were its foundations, formed in childhood and with me grown into adulthood - was that to be replaced by nothing? The ghastliness of nothing. Because I was nobody’s sister now. I saw Dad had been given a handful of earth. But as he held out his hand above your coffin he couldn’t unprise his fingers. Instead, he put his hand into his pocket, letting the earth fall there and not onto you. He watched as Father Peter threw the first clod of earth instead and broke apart, splintering with the pain of it. I went to him and took his earth-stained hand in mine, the earth gritty between our soft palms. He looked at me with love. A selfish person can still love someone else, can’t they? Even when they’ve hurt them and let them down. I, of all people, should understand that. Mum was silent as they put earth over your coffin. An explosion in space makes no sound at all.
Rosamund Lupton
tried to go to a counselor, but it was just too weird. Talking to some stranger about my feelings made me want to vomit. I did go to the library, and I learned that behavior I considered commonplace was the subject of pretty intense academic study. Psychologists call the everyday occurrences of my and Lindsay’s life “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs. ACEs are traumatic childhood events, and their consequences reach far into adulthood. The trauma need not be physical. The following events or feelings are some of the most common ACEs: •​being sworn at, insulted, or humiliated by parents •​being pushed, grabbed, or having something thrown at you •​feeling that your family didn’t support each other •​having parents who were separated or divorced •​living with an alcoholic or a drug user •​living with someone who was depressed or attempted suicide •​watching a loved one be physically abused. ACEs happen everywhere, in every community. But studies have shown that ACEs are far more common in my corner of the demographic world. A report by the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund showed that among those with a college degree or more (the non–working class), fewer than half had experienced an ACE. Among the working class, well over half had at least one ACE, while about 40 percent had multiple ACEs. This is really striking—four in every ten working-class people had faced multiple instances of childhood trauma. For the non–working class, that number was 29 percent. I gave a quiz to Aunt Wee, Uncle Dan, Lindsay, and Usha that psychologists use to measure the number of ACEs a person has faced. Aunt Wee scored a seven—higher even than Lindsay and me, who each scored a six. Dan and Usha—the two people whose families seemed nice to the point of oddity—each scored a zero. The weird people were the ones who hadn’t faced any childhood trauma. Children with multiple ACEs are more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression, to suffer from heart disease and obesity, and to contract certain types of cancers. They’re also more likely to underperform in school and suffer from relationship instability as adults. Even excessive shouting can damage a kid’s sense of security and contribute to mental health and behavioral issues down the road. Harvard pediatricians have studied the effect that childhood trauma has on the mind. In addition to later negative
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)